The center notified the Delhi High Court on Monday that WhatsApp’s opt-out of its new privacy policy differs from Indians’ treatment of European users. This is a matter of government concern and it is investigating the issue.

The central government told the High Court that Indian users are being “unilateral” changes in the privacy policy of instant messaging platforms, which is also worrying.

The submitted material was heard by Additional Deputy Attorney General (ASG) Chetan Sharma before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva when he heard a lawyer’s petition against Facebook’s new privacy policy for WhatsApp.

At the beginning of the hearing, the court reiterated the statement on January 18 that WhatsApp is a private application and whether to download it is optional.

The court said: “It is not mandatory to download it. Every other application has similar terms and conditions for sharing user information with others.” It also asked why the petitioner questioned WhatsApp’s policies.

The court also pointed out that Congress is reviewing the Personal Data Protection Act and the government is investigating the issues raised in the request.

At the hearing, ASG Sharma stated in court that by preventing Indian users from sharing their data with other Facebook companies, WhatsApp appears to be treating users in an “all or nothing” way.

“As far as the government is concerned, although the privacy policy provided by WhatsApp to its European users explicitly prohibits the use of any information shared with Facebook for corporate purposes”, this clause was not found in the privacy policy provided to Indian citizens who constitute WhatsApp A very important part of the user base.

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ASG told the court: “This kind of differential treatment is definitely a cause of government concern. The Indian government is also unilaterally affected by changes in privacy policy, which is also a concern of the government.

He further said: “This makes full use of the social significance of WhatsApp and forces users to bargain, which may violate their interests in information privacy and information security.”

He also told the court that although the problem lies between the two private users-WhatsApp and its users-the scope and breadth of WhatsApp “become a close connection with a reasonable and strong policy for personal data protection. The draft and Discussions are ongoing.”

Sharma said that the government is already investigating the issue and has sent a communication to WhatsApp seeking certain information.

Kapil Sibal, a senior defense lawyer who attended WhatsApp, told the court that the letter has been received and will receive a response.

Since then, the court listed the matter for trial on March 1.

The lawyer’s petition argued that the updated privacy policy violated the user’s privacy rights stipulated in the Constitution.

The defense claims that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows full access to users’ online activities without any government supervision.

According to the new policy, users can accept it or exit the application, but they cannot choose not to share their data with other Facebook-owned or third-party applications.


Will WhatsApp’s new privacy policy end your privacy? We discussed this on the weekly technical podcast Orbital, you can subscribe via Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or RSS, download the episode, or click the play button below.